February 8, 2015

What Lies beneath... the fold

There is still an irrational fear that anything existing beneath the fold is lost in the abyss. I am here to assure you that indeed it is not. Gone are the days where you must litter the first 600 pixels with a visual cacophony worthy of sending your visitors into a seizure. I’ll remind you, it’s 2015. There is water on mars, and thanks to our handy smart devices we know how to scroll. Scrolling is easy, it’s natural, and it’s fun.


The term ‘above the fold’ itself is archaic as it refers to the front page of a newspaper. What’s a newspaper? Where do you even buy one of those? I don’t have answers to these questions as I use the internet like everyone else to get my news, and yes I scroll down to see even more news.


Now that we know what a fold is, let’s discuss where it is. Oh yeah, its all over the place as there are more screen resolution sizes now than ever. To try to accommodate every user’s experience is simply impossible. The moment you think you’ve done it, a new device will come along and gladly prove you wrong.


If you build it, they will come. We can all agree that important information should be featured first on every page of your site, alas ‘above the fold’, however that is just a matter of hierarchy which any good designer is going to consider. It’s the designer’s job to show the user what they are looking for and to show them fast, the hard part is telling a story. If you show/tell the users a compelling story, they’ll stay to check out what you have to say and scroll without even knowing they’re scrolling. If you cram your pages full of content without clear messaging or hierarchy or what to do next, it should be no surprise that your visitors will disappear.


“It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click,

as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice."

- Steve Krug, "Don't Make Me Think"